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Former Limestone Co. Sheriff sentenced to 36 months in jail

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 7:50 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 12:04 PM CDT
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was sentenced to three years in jail on Friday morning.

WAFF’s Madison Scarpino was in the courthouse for the sentence. Blakely also received two years of unsupervised probation as part of the sentence. The former Sheriff will have up to 42 days to appeal.

The three-year sentence Blakely received is exactly what the Attorney General’s office suggested with the exception of fines and restitution. Many people were seen crying in the courtroom as the defense’s witnesses and Mike Blakely himself testified.

“Mike Blakely received the maximum penalty for violating the law,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall.  “It is vitally important that this sentence sends a clear and strong message that officials who breach the public’s trust should and will face the same penalties as anyone else.  Once again, I commend the Limestone County jury for weighing the evidence and reaching the right conclusion.”

Blakely’s defense team called up many character witnesses to speak on the former sheriff’s behalf, including his son and the Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Sue Bell Cobb.

All of them asked for mercy for Blakely. The state argued that Blakely should be used as an example for other public officials to show that the crimes he committed are not excused.

The defense said from this point on, they’re focusing on the appeal.

Kailey Schuyler interviews a Mike Blakely support at the hearing:

Preview:

Blakely was convicted on theft and ethics charges on August 9.

He was represented by a new attorney, Sue Bell Cobb for his sentencing.

Follow reporter Madison Scarpino’s timeline from the courtroom.

Blakely was accused of stealing campaign donations, taking personal loans from Sheriff’s Office funds without paying interest, and soliciting money from Sheriff’s Office employees.

State prosecutors say, Blakely, being a former sheriff, can not serve time in state prison, meaning he will need to serve in county jail. But, Alabama law says someone cannot serve more than three years in jail. So, the Attorney General’s Office recommended Mike Blakely serve 36 months in county jail.

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